As the NATO Summit ended today, Mayor Emanuel wasn't exactly crowing. But he did call it a huge success that should help Chicago generate new jobs and economic development.
"I think this was a world-class event, held in a world-class city, by people who showed the character and qualities which also captured all the world leaders' imaginations," Emanuel said.
However, with many downtown restaurants still nearly deserted Monday night, and many other businesses having closed because of NATO-related disruptions, the mayor stressed that short-term pain could yield long-term gain.
"I spoke with the German foreign minister who was also in Chicago for the first time, who noted that Germany is interested in further investment in the Chicago area. There are more German companies that are thinking about moving their headquarters here to the City of Chicago," Emanuel said.
With the prime minister of Holland, he talked flowers.
"We talked about making O'Hare the North American hub for the Dutch flower trade, where they control 75 percent of that global industry," Emanuel said.
While that sounded promising to restaurant managers in Greektown Monday night, they are still hurting from thousands of dollars in lost sales; even at the well-known spot Greek Islands that hosted the defense minister of New Zealand on Friday night.
Emanuel said he understood that the Summit caused inconvenience to some, but that many other businesses were not affected.
"My office has talked to a number of offices downtown," Emanuel said. "Theater? They said they had the same amount of people. Certain restaurants said that as well. Hotels? Clearly occupied. I never believed that businesses should have closed or shuttered."